A Fundraiser’s Journey: Planned Giving

Kelly pic

Kelly Updike for PCNRC,     A Fundraiser’s Journey series

Now is not the time to be squeamish

You have to wait for it, you may never personally see it and you really don’t like to think about what made it happen, but planned giving needs to be part of your fundraising program.

It seems hard. If you go to planned giving seminars, they use a lot of acronyms and unfamiliar terms. That stuff goes over my head and frustrates me, too.

But it’s the asking that is relatively simple. Think of it as helping someone continue to support what gives that person a lot of joy.

You can ask it of anyone, at nearly any time … “Judy, it’s clear you love our organization. You’re such a supportive volunteer/board member/donor. I know you want us to continue for a long time. Would you consider putting our organization in your will?”

Keep these things in mind:

  • You are not an attorney nor do you play one on TV. Tell the donor to talk with an attorney. There are many who specialize in estate planning. Financial planners also can assist the donor.
  • There is a great group of local folks who know all about planned giving and love to share information about it. Go to the Planned Giving Council of Northeast Indiana – http://www.pgcni.org/ You can join, attend educational meetings (they offer them every other month) or just call to ask questions or get attorney information.
  • Participate in the Write a Will Day that the Planned Giving Council sponsors each year. You will learn a lot just from being a host site for this event.
  • Write your own will. Everyone needs a will and you will learn a lot from doing this. Yes, I already said that.
  • Include simple messages, such as “Include us in your will,” in all your printed materials, every time.
  • Honor those who have said they have set up a planned gift by creating a legacy level of giving for your organization. You have to take their word for it and some people don’t want to tell you about it. Those who do, though, should be recognized in a regular listing along with other annual donors.
  • At least once a year, share brief messages or testimonials from those who have pledged a planned gift in your newsletter. Personal stories touch the heart.

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

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